How many times have you went to a website or blog, only to have it take a few second to load and you end up leaving the site? Unfortunately, this happens all the time. The site owner has lost a valuable visitor (and potential customer), while the end user is probably frustrated and likely won’t end up visiting the site again.
The sad thing in, this is happening millions of times every single day… yet many times it will go unnoticed by the site owner, and more often — will never be fixed!
The good news is that there are many tools and free solutions to help with the clean up process and improving the overall speed and performance of your site. Depending on your hosting provider, this is something they might also be able to help with, but it will likely cost you a few extra dollars in the process.
If you think a second or two doesn’t have a big impact on the long-term growth or success of your site, you’d be completely wrong. In addition to your audience waiting around, there are also many other factors that come into play when you have a slow loading site. We are talking about everything from losing site visitors, lost revenue from sales and even losing rankings in the search results.
To show you just how important a single second delay in page loading time to your site can be, take a look at the graphic below from Aberdeen Group.
The only good news in all of this is that the speed and performance of your site is something you can drastically improve upon.
This is especially true for anyone running a WordPress site. If you already have a website or blog and it’s not running as fast as you’d like it to be, I highly recommend you take a look at this guide on how to boost WordPress speed and get the most out of your site. There are plenty of tools and plugins to help with this process, but instead, we are going to be focusing on three of the biggest reasons why having a fast loading website is so important.
1 – Stop Losing Visitors to Your Site
The most immediate and important reason why every site needs to be loading as fast as possible is for the value and engagement of your audience. In today’s world where instant gratification is key and attention spans are at the shortest period ever, no one is going to wait around for a site to load.
Not only is your audience not going to wait for your site to load, they will likely never come back to it again. The impact of losing a portion of your audience is even worse when you factor in any advertising and marketing dollars being used to get people to your site.
This can all be summed up nicely through the chart below. KissMetrics reports that “slower page response time results in an increase in page abandonment” at an alarming rate at each second goes on.
2 – Reduce Server Resources and Save Money
In the old days of the internet, everything was very clunky, HTML-based and image heavy. If you remember social platforms like MySpace or any of those animated GIF sites, then you will know exactly what I mean. They were fun to look at but extremely large in actual data size. If you were on dial-up, they would also take several seconds to fully load and display.
Today, the internet is more advanced than ever before and high-quality images, content, and video are extremely important… but there are better ways to deliver it to your audience. Using a CDN (content delivery network) is a good idea, as you don’t want to load too many resources from your server at one time. A CDN provider will have multiple servers that use intelligent caching placed through the world, which will help in loading your content from multiple server locations (closest to the person viewing your content), and putting less loading time and stress on your main server.
In addition to a CDN, you can also use image optimization tools to minimize the size of content actually loading from your site. Not only will these methods help improve the loading speed of your site, it can also minimize stress and costs on your server hosting as well — especially for high-traffic/resource sites.
3 – Google Wants to Rank Fast Websites
Of the many different factors that Google considers when ranking a website, speed is one of the most important. Not only does Google provide a speed test for site owners, they also analyze each component of a site and let you know where improvements can be made.
Once you run a test through Google Page Insights, you will be given a score based on your mobile and desktop viewing. Each platform will give you a score and also provide you with a list of suggestions to be made. Common recommendations include optimization of images, leveraging browser cache, render-blocking and more.
Improve Site Performance by Cleaning Up Your Content
When it comes to the overall management and performance of a WordPress site, you definitely have a lot of options to choose from. While the benefits are definitely there, many site owners and bloggers still don’t put in the time and effort to improve the speed and performance of their site. This is commonly due to site owners not knowing how to make such improvements, or they simply don’t ‘physically’ see the issue… so most will end up just ignoring it.
The best way to improve the performance of your site is to measure and track where it’s currently at. This can be done through the use of a simple tool like Google’s speed test, or more advanced tools like SEMRush’s site audit tool. As you use each of these tools, be sure to tweak your site with their recommended changes, then perform a new test to see how each improvement gives your site a better score.